Recently in Local News Category

Toddler killed in handgun accident

| No Comments

A Minneapolis toddler was killed Wednesday afternoon when his older brother accidentally shot him.

Police say the 2-year-old toddler and his 4-year-old brother were playing with their father's handgun in their Cedar Avenue home when the gun accidentally went off, reports WCCO.

The boys' uncle told WCCO his brother bought the gun for protection and normally kept the gun up high and out of reach of his children.

Paramedics responded and tried to revive the toddler but he died on the scene from the critical gunshot wound, reports Kare 11.

Police spokesperson William Palmer called the incident a "tragic accident," according to Kare 11.

The boys' father pleaded guilty to negligent storage of a handgun, according to the Star Tribune.

Harteau sworn in as Minneapolis police chief

| No Comments

Janeè Harteau was sworn in as the city's 52nd police chief on Thursday in a ceremony attended by hundreds of City Council members, other Minnesotan police chiefs and Minneapolis officers.

Harteau has been a long-time member of the Minneapolis police force, taking her first job with them in 1987, according to KSTP. She had won unanimous support from the City Council on friday.

The ceremony took place in the rotunda of Minneapolis City Hall in front of a crowd of 300 people, reports the Star Tribune.

"I will always stand up for what is right even if I stand alone," Harteau said during her speech, according to the Star Tribune. "There are incredibly high expectations of me and there should be."

Long-time member of the police force and Harteau's life partner Sgt. Holly Keegel stood at Harteau's side during the ceremony. Their daughter Lauren, 13, was also next to her and got the honor of pinning Harteau with the chief's badge, according to Kare 11.

Harteau is Minneapolis's first woman and openly gay police chief, according to Kare 11.

Harteau is taking over the position from Tim Dolan, who retired in November, reports KSTP.

Police looking for gun used to kill Cold Springs officer

| No Comments

Police are looking for the gun used in a Cold Springs shooting early this week that left a police officer dead, reports WCCO.

Officer Tom Decker, 31, was fatally shot late Thursday behind Winner's Bar as he and his partner were responding to reports of a possibly suicidal man, according to the Star Tribune.

The area sheriff's office told the public to keep an eye out for a discarded gun in a request Saturday, reports WCCO.The office confirmed that the gun used was a 20-gauge shotgun, according to the Star Tribune.

The suspect Ryan Larson lived above the bar where the shooting occurred, according to Kare 11.

Charges against Larson in connection with Decker's death could be filed on Monday, reports Kare 11.

Fatal St. Cloud fire started by cooking

| No Comments

Investigators say "careless cooking" sparked a St. Cloud house fire that left one college student dead and injured another, according to Kare 11.

Kyle Kopischke, 23, died in the fire that destroyed the house at 520 6th Avenue Sout on Nov. 24, according to Kare 11.

Investigators say the fire started in the kitchen before spreading to the rest of the house, reports Kare 11. Two of the stove's burners were on at the time of the fire.

The home's smoke alarm had disabled and removed and the building had no sprinkler system, reports WCCO.

Kopischke's 22-year-old roommate, Kevin Murphy, was injured in the blaze and also suffered from smoke inhalation, reports WCCO news.

Investigators say they believe alcohol may have been a factor in the fire, according to WCCO news.

Kopischke was from Comfrey and studying at St. Cloud Technical College, reports WCCO.

Vikings have right to pursue seat licenses, official says

| No Comments

Vikings authorities are asserting their right to offer personal seat licenses for a fee, saying that Dayton and the public were too quick to judge the proposal.

Dayton condoned the policy early this week after the Vikings released an online survey to gauge fan interest, reports the Star Tribune. Dayton said the policy was unfair to "regular Minnesotans."

Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president for stadium development and public affairs, said people are "jumping the gun," judging the policy before anything has even become official, reports the Star Tribune.

"We're doing our homework," Bagley said. "That's all were doing."

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michelle Kelm-Helgen says the team has "clear authority" to allow these licenses in the new stadium, reports WCCO news.

Kelm-Helgen also said that the fees were comparable to policies in other Minnesota stadiums, reports Kare 11. The Twins currently charge $1000 to $2000 for some premium seats in Target Stadium.

Dayton opposes additional ticket fees to pay for stadium

| No Comments

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he objects to the Vikings efforts to charge fans an extra fee to cover the costs of their new stadium.

Dayton wrote a letter to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf Tuesday denouncing efforts to impose an extra payment for season ticket holders, according to Kare 11.

"The project's strong support came from many regular Minnesotans, not just rich Minnesotans," Dayton said in the letter, reports the Star Tribune. "If a new stadium were to betray that trust, it would be better that it not be built."

The thousands of dollars of extra cost would pay for "personal seat licenses" and would be in addition to the annual season ticket payment, reports the Star Tribune. Dayton's letter was sent a week after the team began a survey to determine ticket holders' interest in the seat licenses.

The team is paying just over half of the $975 million necessary to build the publicly subsidized stadium. Revenue from the seat licenses would cover part of the Vikings's share, according to the Star Tribune.

5 injured in shooting at southern Minn. club

| No Comments

Five people were injured in a shooting in an event center parking lot in Austin, Minn. early Sunday.

The shooting just before midnight after a hip-hop event at Lansing Corners supper club, which was once a diner and is now an events center, reports Kare 11.

Two of the victims were critically injured, according to the Star Tribune. All of the victims have been taken to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The circumstances of the shooting are still under investigation. Authorities have not ruled out gang activity, reports Kare 11.

"We don't know if it's gang related or what the case may be," Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said, reports the Star Tribune. "Several victims are not cooperating, and witnesses at the scene didn't see anything. So that's frustrating."

Police suspect that at least two guns were involved in the shooting reports the Star Tribune. Although the supper club does not serve alcohol, bottles were found at the crime scene.

Owatonna Caterpillar branch shutting down in March

| No Comments

Caterpillar Inc. announced it will close its production plant in Owatonna, a plan which will cut 100 jobs in the area.

The company announced that production on Caterpillar's mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and diesel turbines will stop at the plant on March 1, 2013, according to Kare 11.

President of Caterpillar's Forest Products Division John Carpenter said he regrets this decision and understands the impact it will have on the community, reports Kare 11.

"We value our employees' contributions, and these actions are not a reflection of them, but rather the result of a need to make our business more efficient and competitive," he said.

While some engineering work will remain in Owatonna, Caterpillar's forestry production will move to other plants in Wisconsin and Georgia, reports WCCO news.

Caterpillar notified employees Thursday of the planned closure, according to WCCO news. Those affected will receive severance packages and the company says it will work with other agencies to find them new positions.

Marriage amendment rejected in Minnesota

| No Comments

Minnesotans voted against an amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman Tuesday, making it the first state to strike down a constitutional amendment limiting gay marriage, according to the Minnesota Daily.

It was a close race for part of election night, but ended with only 47.4 percent voting for the ban, reports the Minnesota Daily.

Campaign manager for Minnesota United for All Families Richard Carlbom was moved by the results, saying all the hard work was worth it, reports Kare 11.

"We beat an amendment in this state that no other state could beat," he said. "That speaks volumes."

Voting against this amendment will make it easier to one day legalize gay marriage in Minnesota by repealing the 1997 "Defense of Marriage" law, according to KSTP.

Amendment supporter and Minnesota for Marriage spokesperson Chuck Darrel said he was disappointed in the result but "had no regrets," according to Kare 11.

"This is not a shift away from the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. "We knew we were swimming against a powerful tide."

30 other states have proposed and approved similar amendments to their constitutions, according to the New York Times.

Edina man found dead in pot-growing operation

| No Comments

A man was found dead in his Edina residence that housed a pot-growing operation, reports the Star Tribune.

Police responded to a 911 call at approximately 5:20. They found Paul B. Schneider dead in his home on the 4200 block of West 50th street, reports the WCCO news

The victim's sister Lori Miller found Schneider's body Tuesday and immediately called police, reports the Star Tribune.

Police say that it appeared to be a suicide, reports WCCO news.

"He was pretty depressed, and he had a lot of things on his mind," said Schneider's father Dale Schneider, who was not aware of his son's criminal activities, reports the Star Tribune.

Authorities found approximately 30 marijuana plants and heating lamps, according to the Star Tribune. Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force Sgt. Brian Tholen said the task force is conducting an "open and active investigation."

The investigation is still underway, reports WCCO news.